Deena Hammond is described as a bi-racial, near-white woman who has had her share of being hurt, disappointed, and ridiculed in her twenty-five years living. Deena, the oldest of three siblings, lost both parents at an early age to domestic violence and prison. Being raised by her grandparent should have awarded security; instead she was scorned for her ethnicity. In spite of their hardened hearts, Deena’s deepest desire was the love and acceptance from her father’s family. Reminiscing on memories with her father, she pushed through every misfortune to become a successful architect with Daichi Tanaka.
Returning to her hometown of Liberty City after graduating from MIT, Deena was mortified by who her siblings had become. Her brother, Anthony was a street hustler, and the youngest of the three, Elizabeth was promiscuous by the age of eleven.
One evening Deena and her grandmother heard Anthony’s boisterous voice, leaping out of the door. First, Deena was horrified at the visual in front of her. Stepping between the victim and her brother, she intervenes and saves the stranger’s life.
Takumi Tanaka is a Japanese American who indulges the world with his talent as an artist. Takumi has become a father figure to his younger brother due to the absence of their parents. He’s thankful for his uncle and cousin as he tries to cope and understand how his overzealous father can spend time with employees rather than his own flesh and blood. Looking for inspiration, Tanaka finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, staring in the eyes of a villain; the villain is the brother of the woman he will come to love and adore.
Deena and Takumi grew up with different backgrounds, yet their attraction towards one another is mutual. Due to their families’ beliefs and tradition, a multicultural relationship is prohibited and unspoken of. Understanding the consequences, they continue on, hiding their relationship from all except for a few. Allowing others with flaws of their own to speak into their lives, they find themselves in a worse state than before. Realizing she has taken the love and acceptance she has always desired for granted, Deena contemplates the inevitable.
Author Shewanda Pugh is very descriptive from beginning to end, connecting the reader with each character. As the story went on, I found myself laughing, in awe, or teary eyed. Crimson Footprints is about family, acceptance, forgiveness, and love. The ending is astounding, which is the best part because I never saw it coming. The book is well written and Pugh does a remarkable job of keeping the storyline unpredictable. Definitely a must read. The sequel Crimson Footprints II is also available.
-Reviewed by LaMona